A funny thing has happened to me as I've grown in my faith.
Sometimes I feel worse.
Let me explain...
When I was younger, I would show up to Mass each Sunday, put my token offering in the basket, and smile on the way back to my real life. If someone asked if I was practicing Catholic, I responded with an affirmative "why, yes I am! Just ask me on Sunday mornings!"
In retrospect, I was just going through the motions. At Mass and outside Mass.
But I was blissfully doing so. As far as I knew, I was acting just how God wanted me to. In my own ignorant mind, I was an excellent Catholic. Yup ... the Big Guy was surely smiling at me every day ... just pleased as could be.
Fast forward to today - and while I am certainly no model Catholic, I am light years ahead of where young Michael was.
Here is the irony though ...
The more I learn about our our religion and the closer I grow to God, the less blissful I sometimes feel.
Sure, there are times when I am the happiest person on Earth because I can feel God's love.
But there are other times when I sit there and ponder how much I have let Him down. How far I must be from His plan. How disappointed He must be in me every day.
And that is painful.
I didn't feel that way before my journey, of course. I didn't know any better.
Don't get me wrong, I would never go back. Just the opposite, in fact. I'm going to keep limping forward on this long but beautiful path.
But the paradox of it all really hit me this week.
Have any of you felt this?
P.S. In times like these, I like to remind myself how much God loves us no matter what. And this song by Jason Gray is perfect for doing just that. (Bonus points for being one of those catchy songs you can't help but tap your foot to as you sing along ...)